Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Improving nitrogen use efficiency lessens environmental impact

03.01.2011
Grafting proves successful in melon, provides low-input growing strategies

Most agricultural crops require large quantities of nitrate-rich fertilizer to realize optimal yields. The dilemma for growers is finding ways to balance the amount of nitrogen needed for production while minimizing potentially harmful nitrates that can leach into ground and surface waters.

Increased interest in environmentally beneficial "low-input" approaches is challenging researchers to identify genotypes that have a characteristic called "high nutrient use efficiency", or NUE. Using vegetable types with high NUE could help growers lessen environmental impacts while maintaining high crop yields. A new study reported on improved NUE traits that resulted from grafting melon plants onto commercial rootstocks.

Scientist Giuseppe Colla from the University of Tuscia and colleagues published the research in HortScience.The researchers evaluated a "rapid and economical" methodology for screening melon rootstocks for NUE using two experiments. In the first experiment melon plants, either ungrafted or grafted onto four commercial rootstocks grown in hydroponics, were compared. The second experiment was designed to confirm whether the use of a selected rootstock with high NUE could improve crop performance and NUE of grafted melon plants under field conditions.

The researchers observed that NUE traits were improved by grafting melon plants onto commercial rootstocks; grafted plants needed less nitrate in the nutrient solution to reach half maximum shoot dry weight. "In addition, the higher nitrate reductase activity of grafted plants under low nitrate conditions confirms that certain rootstocks have the potential to improve the NUE of grafted plants", they noted. In the second experiment, carried out under open field conditions, increasing the fertilization rates increased the total and marketable yields of melon plants, while decreasing NUE. When averaged over nitrogen levels, the marketable yield, NUE, and N uptake efficiency were higher by 9%, 11.8%, and 16.3%, respectively, in grafted plants than in ungrafted plants.

"We found that the use of melon grafted on selected rootstock represents a potential strategy for increasing yield and NUE and coping with soil fertility problems under low-input conditions", the authors concluded.

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/45/4/559

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org

Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ashs.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How gut bacteria can make us ill

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

On track to heal leukaemia

18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>